Undergraduate Study
Department Mission, ABET Objectives and Outcomes

     The mission of the Mechanical Engineering Department is to provide students with a strong foundation in mechanical engineering, to instill a systematic approach to problem solving, to prepare students for leadership and innovation by emphasis on independent thinking as well as teamwork, and to promote a keen awareness of the role of engineering in a modern society.

Program Educational Objectives

The Mechanical Engineering (B.S.) program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,, under the General Criteria and Program Criteria for Mechanical and Similarly Named Engineering Programs.

Student enrollment and graduation data from this program are available on the McCormick School website.

Objectives of the mechanical engineering undergraduate program at Northwestern University are to produce graduates trained in the following:

  • Knowledge — Application — Innovation
    Graduates will use their foundational knowledge and understanding of fundamental mathematics and physical science, skill and expertise in practical tools, and hands-on experience in design, manufacturing, and engineering science. Graduates will use their knowledge to think critically, formulate problems, and find innovative solutions in engineering practice in industry or academia, or in pursuit of other fields.
  • Leadership — Teamwork — Broader Contribution
    Graduates will employ their interpersonal and team skills to enable leadership in multidisciplinary settings. Their careers will reflect their liberal education with a well-rounded and multi-dimensional educational experience, particularly with regard to an understanding of the societal, ethical, and professional implications of engineering decisions.
  • Intellectual Curiosity — Continuous Learning — Professional Adaptability

    Graduates will demonstrate intellectual curiosity as they continually learn new concepts and tackle new challenges and opportunities. Graduates will identify new directions and adapt in response to the needs of an evolving, professional and social environment.

Student Outcomes

Northwestern University mechanical engineering undergraduates must attain:

  • An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics.
  • An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors.
  • An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
  • An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts.
  • An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives.
  • An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.
  • An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.